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Orcs


Orcs are da best! They doo bashin an runnin an bashin... yoo can't rong wiv sum orcz!

Summary:

Orcs are the original basher team of Blood Bowl, yet can play with an element of finesse, too. They usually bash and run, employing 'the Cage', but with developed Throwers and skilled Blitzers and Goblins, can pass with reasonable success too. They even have the option of going for a Throw Team Mate one-turn touchdown in an emergency, using a Troll to hurl a Goblin teammate towards the endzone, and the Goblin runs the rest of the way.

Strengths:

Orcs have many; cheap, highly armoured Linemen, under-priced Blitzers who are the core of the team, up to four Black Orc Blockers to provide considerable muscle to the roster, a Troll and even some Goblins to use as catchers or to make up the numbers. It is tempting to frontload an Orc team at the start, and watch the rookie opposition team futilely try to find a two-dice block to make a hole through the wall of greenskins.

Weaknesses:

Orcs don't have many, possibly the biggest one is the difficulty in developing the Black Orcs, as they rarely score and cause only the odd casualty. Some coaches start with all four Black Orcs, hoping that they will snag more of the MVP awards early on. Orcs are not particularly quick, so careful positioning is required.

Tips:

Always have one goblin on hand if you got a troll. Even if it's very unlikely you can score in a single turn, it's still better then no chance at all in desperate situations.

Utilize your Guard Blitzers for the running game. If you play to win with the orcs, they can outscore any team on a good day. Your Black Orcs are not called linemen for a reason, it is a smart thing to have a couple deeper down in your defence, allowing them to reach your opponent despite their limited range.

Common Orc Pitfalls Well, this strategy section has remained very bare and minimal for a long time. This is understandable. Many coaches are of the opinion that all you need to do with Orcs is get the basics right and the team will do the rest just by virtue of being Orcs.

Yet things can't be that simple. Orcs do not have as high a win rate as quite a few other, less highly rated, rosters (and this can't all be down to inexperienced coaches running them). There are certainly things that the good Orc coaches do that the average Orc coach does not.

In addition, Orcs are such a common and powerful roster that many coaches have anti-Orc tactics that they hone and regularly deploy (whereas most don't have specific anti-Khemri tactics, for example). An Orc coach needs to be aware of these tactics so that he can prepare for them and counter them.

Orcs vs fast teams

Fast teams (especially Skaven and Wood Elves, but others too) are also soft teams. A common Orc pitfall against these teams is to chase their players aggressively to try and beat them off the pitch. This may work sometimes ... but more often they will just dodge away and pursue the ball. The worst thing an Orc team can do is, when receiving, set up everyone on the halfway line (because they're going to smash the weaklings, or something) except one hapless Thrower in the backfield. This rarely ends well.

The thing to remember is that, if you have the ball, if the fast team wants it they have to come to you. You don't have to mark them, you can 'mark' the ball. This means setting up deep. It's much easier to stop a fast team from getting to the ball by surrounding it wherever it's landed than by forming a wall across the pitch (they will blitz a hole, dodge through or leap over).

This doesn't just mean caging either. A developed fast team will have several tactics at their disposal for dealing with a simple five-man X cage. You need to have the right people in the cage (Guards on opposite corners). You also want a huge, multi-layered cage, so that one dodge (or even one Leap) is not enough to get at the ball-carrier.

The abilities of the ball-carrier himself are also very important. If you can develop an ST 4 AG 4 Blodge Sure Hands SS/SF guy (well, maybe just a few of those) it will put serious wrinkles in the fast team's plans.

When they have the ball, if they're good, there's a limit to how much you can do. Without 'freak' Orcs (ie, AG 5 ones), you don't have the pace and agility to really threaten the ball if they can keep it screened. Even if you do have a 'freak' Orc, if he pressures the ball-carrier by himself he might just end up in a position ripe to be fouled ... Generally the best you can do is try and force them to take a few slightly higher risks and to score quickly. Defence can be very frustrating though and should be avoided: whenever possible, try to play just one turn of defence and 15 turns of offence against fast teams.

One tip against a fast opponent that is really determined to run you ragged and string things out: try not to let your slowest players, the Black Orcs, find themselves out of the game. A common tactic on the part of fast teams is to try and draw some slower players across to one flank and then switch to the other. Those Black Orcs will then need two or three turns to get back into the game. Whenever possible, Black Orcs should remain reasonably central and able to respond when the real attack comes, while Blitzers fight fires. (Of course, sometimes you just need to put an ST 4 roadblock along the sideline - but be aware that such a move may be that Orc's last meaningful contribution to that drive).

Last update: December 19, 2016